Orange Releases the Phase AD3 Adaptive Bike for Ex-EWS Racer Loraine Truong

Sep 1, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  

Adaptive bikes are great for helping disabled people who can't use a regular bike get out on the trails, and adaptive riders can now even race in the EWS. However, the most common designs do come with their own unique set of problems. Three or four wheeled designs are often confined to specially designed adaptive trails due to their width while bucket seat designs require support from either other riders or something to lean on when the bike is stationary.

That's where Orange comes in with its new Phase AD3 adaptive bike. It's a labour of love nearly six years in the making that has been designed to help get Lorraine Truong back in the saddle and riding the kind of Alpine bike park trails that she loves.
Orange Phase AD3 Details

Frame Material: Aluminium
Intended Use: Enduro
Travel: 170mm front / 160mm rear
Wheelsize: 27.5" front and rear
Motor/Battery: Paradox Kinetics motor, 504 Wh battery
Weight: 30kg
Size: Custom
Price: N/A
More info: orangebikes.com

Truong is a former enduro and downhill racer who had suffered a traumatic brain injury at the EWS in Samoens in 2015. She was left with a right side paresis, which she describes as being like a ‘soft’ version of paralysis that makes it hard to engage the right-hand side of her body. She had to stop riding immediately and, while she has found a second calling in wheelchair freestyle, she has been off the bike from her accident until now.


The key to the new bike is the front end that has been designed by Orange's Senior Design Engineer Alex Desmond who wanted to create an adaptive bike that was as similar to a conventional mountain bike as possible. The system is set up so the front tires are only as wide as the pedals, which opens up trails that are normally inaccessible to adaptive bike riders. Alex says this means you can ride it on trails narrower than 350mm and even down ruts with one wheel in and one out.

The design hinges around the front linkage that could theoretically be fitted to any bike and wouldn't change its geometry. It is a patent-pending design that uses a pair of cantilever linkage arms to join two additional head tubes. There is then a second steering linkage element that connects the two forks to the original steering head tube.

The twin forks offer stability and control. Lorraine went for Fox 38s on her build as she intends to start riding downhill tracks in the Alps.

Alex has designed multiple versions based around different handlebar configurations, but all of them allow riders to ride with up to 40% lean (or on 40% off-camber trails), which gives extra security and apparently incredible flat cornering ability to disabled riders.

Alex believes that alongside its performance, his design also increases rider safety. He said, "Having two wheels at the front increases the front-end grip by 50% and it means you understeer instead of low siding. In addition to this, I designed the linkage so it locks up at maximum lean and forms a protective cage around the riders’ legs. Having two wheels also turns the bike into a tripod which, combined with the patent-pending linkage and balance mechanism I designed, allows riders to independently stop or maneuver slowly, which you couldn’t do with two wheels at the back."

Alex is hoping his new design will open up a much wider variety of trails for adaptive MTB riders.

From a rear view, you can see the tires line up almost exactly with the pedals, meaning the bike can be taken on all but the narrowest trails.

Alongside the front and rear damping, the bike is also fitted with seat post suspension that can be used in combination with the bucket seat to give the riders some centre-of-mass movement, allowing them to pump and jump more easily.

British component brand Rideworks helped to bring the structure to life.

The rest of the bike is built around an Orange Phase frame however the motor is swapped out for a Paradox Kinetic eMTB as it comes with a handlebar throttle. The bikes has a 504wh battery and a 1.5kw continuous motor with a 2kw peak and around 150NM of torque. There's also a 635wh battery design too, but Lorraine has a small frame (she has the nickname 'Pocket Rocket' for a reason) so Alex wanted to keep the battery compact. In total, this gives Lorraine the ability to ride 700m of technical climbing on one battery and about 25km of trail.

Lorraine first got hold of the design in the summer last year and apparently it was an instant hit. Alex said, “Lorraine pretty much jumped on, balanced independently and rode straight off. Within minutes she was trying to slide the back end around but, with the brakes reversed for the UK setting, she ended up doing an endo with a massive grin on her face. I was chasing her down the road begging her to take it easy!”.

Orange's 'Strange' department regularly dabbles in wild rides like this.

In the future, it's likely that Alex and Orange will continue making the bikes on an order-by-order basis with systems and builds to be tuned to suit a specific rider's needs and abilities. Alex said, "I’ve been working in secrecy on the Phase AD3 for 6 years so I’m really looking forward to seeing what the reception is. My hope is that it can create a new type of adaptive bike and we’re inviting anyone who wants one to get in touch with Orange to discuss."

Watch Lorraine in action on the bike, here.




129 Comments

  • 357 1
 No words other than, awesome. To have something taken away from you, and then a company go out of its way to find a solution to get you back out doing what you love.

A*

10 / 10

Take the rest of the day off.
  • 10 0
 We want a huck to flat - then take the rest of the week of!
  • 111 0
 Making bikes better is one thing. To develop something that puts people on bikes who would otherwise not be able to ride is the most amazing thing you can develop as a bike company. She loves to ride, now she finally can again. This is pretty much the coolest innovation in mountainbiking of the past couple of decades. Yes, seriously. Riding bikes in dirt is fun. Most innovations since the beginning were there to improve, this one is to enable. It is on a whole different level. Imagine not being able to do what you love and suddenly you can again. How f*cking amazingly beautiful is that?
  • 17 13
 you mean like an e-bike?

granted their ability to "put people on bikes who would otherwise not be able to ride" has been overshadowed by greedy marketing companies selling them as the 'next best thing', they are an amazing piece of kit for older/damaged/weaker riders who just want to be able to ride a bike.
  • 8 4
 @darkmuncan: Whilst ebikes in theory could be used by people otherwise unable to get out riding, I'm struggling to think of any instances of this. Virtually everyone I see on an ebike is able bodied, and also getting increasingly younger.

I think the bike above is a great use of technology and salute all those involved in it's development.
  • 4 2
 @EckNZ: Uuuh, Paul Basagoitia ring any bells?
  • 1 3
 You are a kook @darkmuncan:
  • 67 0
 speechless.. this is amazing... I hope that construct gets produced mainstream and will give a lot of people their ability to ride bikes back... congrats, that is fantastic
  • 16 0
 Heck, I'm not disabled, and I want to ride it.
  • 2 0
 @mab411: *raises hand. Me too
  • 3 0
 I was just thinking about Lorraine the other day and hoping she is seeing positive recovery. Funny I don't even know her but I am rooting for her! So at the very least, this bike made my day, but for another, it is a life changer.

About that front end tho—if I turned a corner and saw this double fork beast coming at me, I think my brain would be WHAT THE F---!?!?
  • 44 3
 Let this be a reminder that there are many in the world that have a disability and daily struggle with the most simplest of tasks: any small amount of help makes a huge difference. I’m also disabled and I’m dependent on others in a very independent society. If it wasn’t for God and my family I don’t know where I’d be, because when the government should have supported me they instead disowned me; that’s another story. Innovation helps, but it’s the people behind the innovation that help even more. Loraine, Alex and Orange provided us with an example to follow. Cheers! Smile
  • 40 1
 An article about an orange without comments about the shape of the frame or the quality of the welds?

This is awesome.
  • 4 0
 If you see a dog with two heads, you're not going to be critiquing its tail. Appropriately, this bike is the mutt's nuts. Reminds of the 3-wheeled Piaggio scooters we have in Europe to get around bike licence laws (at least that's what I think they're for).
  • 13 0
 If this whole thing doesn't give you a buzz, do you even have a heart. Inspiring and truly innovative.
  • 14 0
 Kinda like an mtb Yamaha Niken. Yo dawg, i heard you like headsets
  • 11 0
 I absolutely love the dual front steering arrangement. It has the potential to be used in many other applications. Well done for designing something so amazing.
  • 4 22
flag arzueck (Sep 1, 2021 at 7:00) (Below Threshold)
 Yup. It can even be used to make overweight middle age conservative men more stable when carrying dead animals: riderungu.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIuc-bjfLd8gIVEVZyCh0x6gViEAEYASAAEgKb5PD_BwE
  • 3 3
 …which is not to say that it isn’t the coolest use of an ebike I’ve ever seen.
  • 5 21
flag TheOriginalTwoTone (Sep 1, 2021 at 9:12) (Below Threshold)
 @arzueck: Or help libbys to be more stable with the 50inch TV they looted
  • 11 1
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: Yes! Previously, all I could fit under my arm was a 24". Imagine the possibilities!
  • 2 0
 Also the hope uno brake makes more sense now. I had wondered what the use case was for two callipers operated by one lever. Their duo lever that allowed independent use of two callipers by one hand seemed to be a better solution. But for this bike, a single lever operating two callipers is the best solution.
  • 2 0
 @arzueck: tell me you can't hunt without telling me you can't hunt....
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: why stop at 50 inch if a deer weighs far more? You gotta up those numbers, my guy. This bike is solely 80 inch tv's and up territory
  • 10 0
 I don't normally post anything, but I have to say, this is just great! Awesome work guys making this happen! ✌
  • 10 0
 Bravo! Well done to all. Smile
  • 6 0
 I'd be really interested to see a shootout so to speak of all of these different bikes built for riders with mobility limitations. I've seen such a diverse line up of styles and tech I'm curious which is best for paraplegic riders vs amputees etc.
  • 3 0
 This is a great idea! We need more coverage and information on these adaptive bikes and setups.
  • 4 0
 That would be a interesting comparison. There are some many different disabilities and needs that it might be difficult to do a direct comparison. For instance someone with a spinal injury with little to no core strength the bowhead would a great choice as it low, easy to get into and is stable. Myself I'm an incomplete t6 spinal injury. I can stand and walk short distances with sticks. However I struggle to use hand cycles with my legs straight out infront of me as it sets off spasms in my legs and back which are really uncomfortable and i struggle to control movement. When I'm kneeling or legs bend these spasm can't be set off, so a bike like this might be better suited for me, I also have some cores strength so I can use that to have control over the bike.
  • 1 2
 @provin1327: ...and put it behind a paywall!
  • 3 0
 good guide with photo and description of pretty much all the aMTBs on the market >> www.mtbadapt.no/bike-guide (I have no affiliation to this website)
  • 1 0
 @froman82: that was my exact thought, like how would it work for people with complete paralysis vs partial, etc.
  • 7 0
 Yo, I heard you liked headsets, so we put headsets on your headsets on your headsets. But in all seriousness, this is absolutely amazing, I don't need one but I do kinda want one.
  • 6 1
 Saw this article on Facebook and Was wondering why I could not see this in my feed - then realized it will be filtered out for the eMTB tag - shame as this article needs to be seen by many more as its so much more than just an electric bike
  • 5 0
 What a great machine, so good to see a local firm to me committing to this. And a secret win, having two front wheels surely increase grip actually by 100%?? Unless there is science behind the figure?
  • 3 0
 the body weight on the front wheel is decreased by splitting it between the two wheels, so it can't increase grip 100%.
  • 1 0
 @aerob: this could be a rabbit hole, so if the pressure on the contact patch is less, so then the contact patch is smaller (less deformation of the tyre), unless you run lower pressures. More grip, agreed, 50%, my brain now hurts thinking about it.
  • 8 0
 Awesome bike 38+38= new fox 76
  • 6 1
 Honestly its just hay fever im not crying.......... What an ace film, bikes, trail dogs, cool women. Im a orange fanboi anyway but orange you have won the internet today.
  • 1 0
 Yeah definitely had spotaneous onset hayfever watching that here in my sterile air conditioned office. Had to hunkerdown slightly behind my desk partition to avoid eye contact for a few minutes. I can't even imagine how devastating it must to be at that level and have something happen like that which means you just can't ride. For companies to come together and make that possible is just fantastic, absolutely fantastic.
  • 6 0
 Wonder if we will get to see Martyn Ashton on one of these soon. This is an awesome product and I am super impressed.
  • 4 0
 Yeah, but those Orange welds..... Kidding! Screw all the Orange haters - this shows you where their heart is. Beautiful, thoughtful work from one of the OG UK MTB companies. Good on them.
  • 2 0
 This is such an amazing development! As the friend of someone who was a mountain biker and had an injury at work that left him paralyzed from the waist down, this would be life changing for him. However, cost is always an issue, especially for people that have these kinds of traumatic events and their families. Often they suffer a considerable amount of financial hardships post-injury and most adaptive biking options are way out of their budget.
  • 3 0
 Crying out for a pair of lefties? Anyway, this is so fantastic and seeing ‘pocket rocket’ back where she belongs has put a lump in my throat…. Absolute top work all involved!!
  • 2 0
 "Crying out for a pair of lefties" - sounds like the Labour party just before Corbyn and McDonnell stood for leadership...

The bike is amazing, as you say. A serious labour of love and awesomeness. Out of interest, why do you think it would be improved by reducing the number of fork legs? Just weight or something else?
  • 1 0
 @Linkpin: Aesthetic I guess but maybe if they where on the inside they could offer a bit more clearance, especially the brakes
  • 3 0
 You'd need a lefty and a righty!
  • 1 0
 Seriously cool.. like the Yamaha niken and i think that thing is a brilliant idea.

This is great that those who couldn't normally ride now can.

But also, this could be adapted to any bike.. if you don't mind pushing the extra weight.. this could allow for some insane corner speeds with twice the contact area... and will run wide rather than wipout (again, like the niken).
  • 2 0
 Reminds me of the Yamaha Niken. This is awesome and true innovation, although I'm sure that front linkage could be optimized to be just one piece and maybe use Leftys instead of single crown forks?
  • 2 0
 This makes me happy both as an Engineer, a human being and as a person also suffering from (much milder) TBI than Lorraine does.

I salute you all for this! Hearing her chuckle in the riding video is awesome.
  • 1 0
 @deadclmbr

I clearly said something wrong, but I don’t really understand why. It might have to do with the fact that I am Dutch, and I may have made an inappropiate remark regarding a disability without realizing… if so, I sincerely apologize - the bike’s front reminds me of a Hammerhead shark because of the resemblance of the parts that connect the forks to the frame, the head of the shark.

Again, no bad intentions here - just appreciating a cool bike…
  • 1 0
 Ah - I think I understand the downvotes. Hammer. Head. Traumatic Brain Injury. That was unbelievably ignorant, bordering stupid, of me.
  • 2 0
 @Scout290: hey no problem. I rarely comment on anything. I have a family member with a TBI. It’s 15 years after a no helmet bike accident. It’ll be a life long recovery.
  • 1 0
 @Deadclmbr: I’m sorry to hear that. That sucks
  • 4 0
 The bike all of us pray we never need.
  • 1 0
 Nice to see another solution! Sweet alternative to the Bowhead, which as cool as it is, is pretty steep in terms of cost. I wonder how this stacks up, although if I had to guess this custom piece would also be up there.
  • 3 0
 Someone beat me to it, Martyn Ashton this rig is caaaaaalling you! Seriously nice design. Way to be.
  • 4 0
 Wow, you could fit a lot of EDC tools in that thing.
  • 1 0
 This is amazing. Great job from a really solid company. The fact that the front end could be adapted to other bikes as a system is outstanding. We do not see Orange here at all unless it is an older DH bike.
  • 1 0
 Watching this made my day. Such a clever design and the dedication it must have taken to get it to this stage is awesome, but seeing the enjoyment it has brought to Loraine has to make it all feel more than worthwhile
  • 2 0
 This rules.
Will be a great addition to adaptive MTB (aMTB!) fleets
e.g. tetonadaptivesports.com/adaptive-mountain-biking
  • 1 1
 I think this design is very dangerous. For athletes like Loraine, with limited mobility, the center of gravity of the rider should be as low as possible to have more stability, also to be closer to the ground during a crash. Look at her bmx wheelchair of other downhill wheelchairs. The CG is super low.
  • 1 0
 That is really awesome. Great work by Orange.

Reminds me of this double front wheel e-bike (riderungu.com), but Orange has the leaning ability. Wonder if the Rungu could be adapted as well..
  • 4 0
 This is amazing.
  • 4 0
 This is brilliant!
  • 3 0
 This is the best thing Ive ever seen on PB.
  • 3 0
 Need to get Martin from GMBN on one of these!
  • 1 0
 I don't know if she's had much time on the bike, but she's going down hill faster than I can. Can't wait to see her when she's really comfortable with it.
  • 1 0
 that pivoting linkage on the front end is so brilliant. Some frame stock and a hand full of headsets gets you a very stable front end
  • 2 0
 Cool concept, seems to work fairly well. Nice work guys!
  • 3 0
 Outstanding!!!
  • 2 0
 thats is fucking sick, you see that beast articulate over the janky rock.
  • 1 0
 Awesome bike but just think 6 headsets to sort out i struggle with one but what a machine
  • 9 0
 Think of all the multi-tool storage! Can you put EDCs in all of these?
  • 2 0
 absolutely fantastic, love it! and what a well behaved pup also !
  • 2 0
 That and the dog is so cool.. got to love a GSD.
  • 1 0
 The way Lorraine and the bike handles berms and roots is amazing. Congratulations to everybody involved.
  • 2 0
 wow! she was ripping on that bike! what an awesome story and video.
  • 1 0
 Hey. We have all these extra star fangled nuts and top caps. What do you want to do with them?
  • 1 0
 Watching that makes me feel happy to be human and wrecked emotionally at the same time. Genius.
  • 2 0
 Orange have been saving their advances in technology for this. Good call.
  • 2 0
 Best article I've read on PB. Bravo!!!
  • 1 0
 This is so cool, well done everyone who could make this happen for her. My eyes are wet.
  • 1 0
 What’s more expensive than a Fox 38? Two Fox 38s.

I wonder how it would go with a 38 and a Zeb.

Awesome bike.
  • 1 0
 Making sure two forks are set the same with the same pressures makes me want to cry
  • 1 0
 The 50 hour fork service is one hell of a job Wink
  • 1 0
 Love it... made me smile & nod spontaneously... "well-done Alex " and Orange...
  • 1 0
 Now Add 2 Trust Shout forks and u can go full alien mode on any bike u want
  • 1 0
 Reminds me of the Yamaha Niken. Great work on something that can help people expand their opportunities for recreation.
  • 2 0
 This is fantastic
  • 1 0
 Two wheels good, four wheels better, three wheels BEST!
  • 1 1
 Amazing ride! Fantastic engineering! But why does he keep saying its a bike when its clearly a trike?
  • 1 0
 2 38s is better than 1 38!
  • 1 0
 Absolutely mint, Alex! Cheers boys, I love the work you're doing.
  • 2 0
 10/10
  • 1 0
 Absofuckinglutely awesome to see a project like this!
  • 1 0
 What kind of dog is Largo? Is he some kind of Shepherd?
  • 1 0
 Whoever is that bikes mechanic needs 2 sets of tools!!! Great work guys!!
  • 1 0
 Amazing! Great to see Lorraine riding a bike again.
  • 1 0
 Amazing on so many levels! The people, the bike, the dog, everything!
  • 1 0
 Impressive, most impressive
  • 1 0
 I would add a roll bar, she can’t eject like other riders.
  • 1 0
 All the above and then some!!! Time for a Righty??
  • 1 0
 Brilliant! just brilliant!
  • 1 0
 Reminds me of the Yamaha Niken, this is wicked cool!
  • 1 0
 Orange Bikes are fantastic. Great story here.
  • 1 0
 This is beyond amazing. Well done to all those involved!
  • 1 3
 There was a time when i believed mountain biking to be a sport for everyone. Now: Looking to the left at my SC Hightower. Looking at this article. Scratching my head.
  • 1 0
 Freaking Awesome!
  • 1 0
 ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
  • 1 0
 Incredible!
  • 1 0
 Mint....
  • 1 0
 Awesome!! Great work.
  • 1 0
 Smart People kick ass!
  • 1 0
 That’s fantastic!
  • 1 0
 Bravo
  • 1 0
 7 headsets
  • 2 1
 Orange for President
  • 1 0
 Bravo!
  • 1 0
 This is brilliant!
  • 1 0
 Empowering, brilliant.
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